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And Some I Assume, Are Good People

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Works by Sherry Tseng Hill and Chet Urban

On view June 30 - July 29, 2023

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Exhibition Statement:

The Houston-based artists Sherry Tseng Hill and Chet Urban explore the intersection of migration at the southern U.S. border from their relative positions through memory as collective binder rather than in individual illusion.

Tseng Hill and Urban use memory as a device from their own experience, through the lens of their position to connect to the immigrant crisis on the U.S. border. Memory in their use becomes a tool to connect, to bridge, to empathically see others relate to the self. They argue in their own approaches, and as physicist Carlos Rovelli states, “our present swarms with the traces of the past. We are histories of ourselves, narratives.” However, when we consider that time may not be linear, the grouping, segmenting and categorizing we collectively understand as time is not historical but yet another form of othering. Time “never is true regardless but we assume a close enough approximation until we put artificial boundaries by grouping and segmenting as best we can in a continuous process that is more or less uniform and stable." - Rovelli, Carlo. The Order of Time.

What then is this “swarm” in the present? What is the memory and what is the experience that invokes it? The artists ask, how do events today connect us, deeply within us, to our own experiences? How then do our experiences conversely connect to events today? As our relative perspective shifts, what then is shifted in us when we experience the solidarity of the cosmos. How do these experiences exist, in addition to, and through other experiences? How seeing one thing brings up another by memory or imagination, where a possibility is realized in a manifestation that is alive, real; one that exists in time but not a linear or chronographic time, a kairos time. The kind of time charged with promise and significance, a ripening of an idea or profound change. A rupture of some kind or something.

Tseng Hill examines historical movements of people, looking closely at public rhetoric surrounding the trauma migrants recount from their crossing of the U.S. Southern border. She does this through the lens of her own immigrant journey which provides insights, common threads and juxtaposition.

Urban reflects on memory and everyday objects in connection to law enforcement practices and the ways in which violence coincides with determinations of “legality” or “illegality”. He inquires what is embedded in a memory. When one object, image, or view conjures up and connects to a memory, a distant experience what does that bridge? What gap vanishes between yourself and the “other”?


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